U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, spent Monday morning on a job evaluation of sorts at the Somerset Senior Community Center.
"When I was elected I was employed by the people of my district, so I am here to meet some of my employers," he said.
Rothfus represents the 12th Congressional District, which includes parts of Somerset County.
His first piece of legislation passed last week in the House. Rothfus proposed an amendment to the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriation Act that barred bonuses for VA hospital administrators. More than 865,000 veterans across the nation are waiting to receive disability benefits and almost 576,000 are part of a backlog now estimated at two years.
"It is not appropriate to pay the top VA officials bonuses," he said. "If they get the job done, we'll worry about bonuses later."
The bill now goes to the Senate. Rothfus said he is also concerned about systemic failures at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Pittsburgh. An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease started in February 2011 and continued until November 2012. It killed at least five veterans and sickened 17.
When Rothfus asked if anyone had questions for him, he was asked about the law dealing with senior citizens centers having bingo. The congressman said the Small Games of Chance Act is a state law, not a federal law.
Mary Piatt-Bruner, administrator of the Area Agency on Aging of Somerset County, explained that under the law the senior centers, as entities of the county, are only allowed to have bingo for entertainment purposes. That limits the prizes.
She was glad that Rothfus visited the center.
"We think it's great that he was able to come to visit us," she said. "We have a senior citizen population that is larger than the state average and there are a lot of issues of concern."
Rothfus then called a game of bingo and met one-on-one with people.